"On Friday, the Department of Energy is expected to show a withdrawal of just 74 billion cubic feet, well below the 87 bcf drop during the same period last year and the five-year average withdrawal of 140 bcf. If the projection is correct, that would push natural gas inventories 12.7% higher than the five-year average.
"The fundamentals really don't support significantly higher prices, but weather forecasts change pretty quickly so we'll just have to keep watching," said Gene McGillian, a broker and analyst with Tradition Energy.
Forecasters generally agree that the cold will moderate around the second week of January.
Matt Rogers, a meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group, a private forecaster, said there is "fairly good confidence" that colder weather will prevail over the next 10 days. But weather models continue to point to warmer weather just beyond that period.
The weather is "showing pretty significant warm-up after the cold shot," said Kyle Cooper, analyst at IAF Advisors, who thinks natural gas could fall to the $3 range if the milder forecasts bear out."
---Wall St Journal, Dec 27, "Natural Gas Watches the Weather "